Each year, national days of significance, like Australia Day are becoming more political.
And at K.I.S.S HQ this year was no different. Back in December, as we mapped out January content for clients, we started the discussion. Do we? Or don’t we?
In essence a simple question, but one that can (and seemingly does), divide the nation.
So where does that leave brands? Many are now staying silent, choosing to avoid embroiling themselves in the proverbial fight and do brand damage.
Choosing a side in a political mine-field
Picking a side doesn’t necessarily mean overtly agreeing or disagreeing with a point of view. However, as a brand an internal decision has to be made.
To make the right decision ask yourself: what does your brand stand for? To fully understand the answer, consider the following:
What are your brand values? For example, does your brand value honesty or open minded-ness? If so, your brand would be likely to align with a cause close to its heart.
Is your brand personality conservative and passive? Or is it boisterous, forward thinking and brave? Your brand personality is what your audience engages with and is a reflection of what you do.
Your customers are one of the most important aspects of your brand. When posting anything, political or not, think about who your customers are and how they will appreciate your posts.
Taking the risk
In business, public pressure can hugely impact decision-making. But it’s important to stand by your beliefs and measure your beliefs against the risk-level of negative feedback.
Nike recently kicked off their 30th anniversary ad campaign “Believe in Something. Even If It Means Sacrificing Everything”. They bravely took a stand in favour of a controversial topic. Nike knew this was a risk and would spark backlash, which it did. However, Nike stayed true to their beliefs and backed their decision to run the campaign. Despite the public backlash, the campaign boosted sales with a reported $US 6 billion to its valuation.
Reminder: if you choose to promote any national, cultural or day of significance, it should be done so respectfully. Acknowledging a day of significance purely for commercial gain does not look good in any light, regardless of individual political views.
Dealing with backlash
As we’ve seen with Australia Day, ANZAC Day and even Christmas, culturally significant topics can cause a divide, so be prepared to field some negative feedback. Prepare responses in advance so your response to negative feedback is measured and professional.
No matter which day we are recognising, we all need to remember that everyone has an opinion, not everyone will agree on one thing and there is no right or wrong answer.
Did your brand post about Australia Day?
We would love to see what you did!
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